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January 22, 2020

Design Swarms workshop by Surya Vanka

Mr. Surya Vanka, founder of Authentic Design, Seattle and former User Experience Director at Microsoft, conducted his signature DesignSwarms workshop at UID recently. The Design Swarms’ workshops are workshops designed to unleash the innate creativity and lateral problem-solving skills of people from various disciplines.

The participants of the workshops were divided into 6 teams of 9 people each. The students were first given a brief introduction to the problem area – climate change and temperature rise in the environment. The intense process that followed thereafter can be broken down into 3 main parts – Identifying the target audience and understanding their needs, quantitative ideation to meet the goals identified, and providing a solution in the form of a narrative as well as a written pitch.

On the whole, it was a great learning process that has helped students learn various techniques such as biomimicry and disruptive ideation processes. It was a design challenge against the clock, however tackling it together as teams was a great experience.